Introducing the Composting Costumier – That Person

Hello readers! 

My name’s Rhiannon Irving and I’m that person.

I’m a Melbourne based costumier and “person-with-a-compost-bin”.

At the end of last year I was lucky enough to be interviewed by AussieTheatre about Sustainable theatre and eco-transitioning my own practice and the Melbourne Shakespeare Company. 

Rhiannon Irving the Composting Costumier

Well, apparently I’ve made myself comfortable here and have decided to shine a spotlight on the many others in our industry doing their bit for our planet. Much like that techie dressed in black that you don’t quite know what they do, but you know the show would probably fall apart without them, often these people work in mysterious ways behind the scenes – they’re that person. 

Let’s be real, you know the one!

In my case, I’m that person who couldn’t reconcile her passion for the planet with the wastefulness of the industry she works in, so tried to counterbalance it by putting a compost bucket in her work kitchen – resulting in basically being joined at the hip with a small bucket everywhere I go, wondering whether I should apologise for its presence at interviews for these AussieTheatre articles and sometimes having to leave it in the cloakroom of theatres when I see a show after work (shhh don’t tell the Arts Centre that’s what’s in there!)” – are you following? … that person.

P.S. – Never apologise for your compost bucket, it’s as beautiful as you are, #compostpride.

I want to talk to:

That person who put a soft plastics bin in your theatre green-room.

That person doing a comedy show about climate change.

That person who so fully transitioned their theatre practises they basically created an entirely new model for how we see and create art and are now building a global movement of eco-theatre warriors.

You get the idea… 

Real talk for a moment, sustainability chats can at times feel a bit bleak, as artists we look around, we see the world, we see it dying, we’re afraid we too may fade, leaving no mark, just passing through… (Yes, I did just paraphrase Sondheim to discuss climate change). But I’m hoping that through these articles I can shine a light on all the positive things our industry is already doing and how each one of us, no matter what role we play can make a difference.

I hope this will mean that eventually, I can talk to not just that person; but groups of those people (sometimes known as a companies) who know that art is an integral part of who we are as a society – it reflects who we are as a people. And if we want to keep up with the changing world we live in, we need to approach our art in innovative, radical and actually incredibly exciting ways. 

Just as with creating theatre, it’s the specific and combined efforts of many that brings about meaningful change because ultimately, we all got into this industry because we wanted our endeavours to impact the world. If we all want our art to leave a positive legacy for generations to come, shouldn’t we all be That Person? 

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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